I’ve been rolling out a few WooCommerce based online stores recently, this time the client requested to take down his store for 2 weeks. His business is still in early startup stage and running the store solo, he was going on vacation and unfortunately could not find an assistant in time. While he is able to answer emails & queries, physically packing and delivering goods will not be possible.
Taking down the store with a ‘coming soon’ message was non-negotiable. This is detrimental to any online store. Implementing updates and doing this for an hour or two is fine, but for two weeks? Definitely not an option. His site would have taken a huge SEO hit, loss of traffic, and lost customer trust.
Fortunately WooCommerce allows us to remove the ‘add to cart’ feature. This means the site will remain online with everything appearing normal. By removing the ‘add to cart’ action, this makes products viewable only. In short, turns your online store into a simple online catalog.
There are 2 ways of doing this
- Using premium plugins
There is WooCommerce Catalog Mode (code canyon) for $15 and the official WooCommerce Catalog Visibility Options plugin for $49
Both seem to do very similar actions, however I have not used either one.
- Modify your Theme Functions.php file
We opted for this quick and easy hack. When he returns, we’ll simply remove this code and the site will work like normal.
Open your Theme Functions file (functions.php),
add these 4 lines at the end
remove_action( 'woocommerce_after_shop_loop_item', 'woocommerce_template_loop_add_to_cart', 10 );
remove_action( 'woocommerce_single_product_summary', 'woocommerce_template_single_add_to_cart', 30 );
remove_action( 'woocommerce_simple_add_to_cart', 'woocommerce_simple_add_to_cart', 30 );
remove_action( 'woocommerce_grouped_add_to_cart', 'woocommerce_grouped_add_to_cart', 30 );
Option 2 worked well for us, implemented within seconds.
Lastly, we installed a lightbox popup plugin (ITRO Popup Plugin) to give visitors a notification of shopping limitations.